“Since they don’t want to come to the table, we took it upon ourselves to bring our own table,” Papa John’s Pizza worker and Fight for 15 leader Shantel Walker told Peoples World. “Many domestic workers are immigrants who don’t know their rights … but don’t feel they have the right to speak up, because they live in fear,” said domestic worker Daniela Contreras of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. “We must build organizations that make it possible for us to come together and organize to have our human and working needs met.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council recently passed the #FairWorkweek and Fast Food Worker Empowerment bills fought for by Fastfood Forward and the Fight for $15 and a Union movement. Meanwhile, Cuomo is working on statewide legislation that could create confusion within the labor movement by expanding some parts of the legislation, while undercutting larger parts of the #FairWorkweek package. The implementation of different standards in different parts of the state also threatens to weaken and divide the labor movement in New York.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has dropped specific “walkaround’ privileges for outside unionists – notably safety and health experts – to accompany agency inspectors, when requested by workers, in non-union shops.
“Political leaders in both Washington and San Juan, whether they like it or not, are being propelled to fashion a new political and economic status for the territory. They will have to finally decide whether to completely annex Puerto Rico as the 51st state or acknowledge that it still remains a distinct nation, with the right to its own sovereignty and independence.”